The complete cook : plain and practical directions for cooking and housekeeping, with upwards of seven hundred receipts : consisting of directions for the choice of meat and poultry ... and with general directions for making wines
- In Collections
Feeding America: the Historic American Cookbook Project
- Copyright Status
- No Copyright
- Material Type
- 196 pages
The introductory texts reproduced here were written by the original Feeding America team to contextualize the books that were selected for inclusion as part of the 2001 digitization project.
The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-Cook, and Baker: Plain and Practical
Directions for Making Confectionary and Pastry, and for Baking; With
Upwards of Five Hundred Receipts . . .With Additions and Alterations
by Parkinson, Practical Confectioner, Chestnut Street.
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1864, c. 1849 W.A. Leary.
Both the Parkinson and Sanderson families were famous in Philadelphia for their culinary contributions. The Complete Cook and The Complete Confectioner were first issued separately (Parkinson in 1844; Sanderson in 1843); the first combined printing was in 1849. Copies of all three variations were very popular and went through more than a dozen printings through the 1860s.
The Parkinson family, Eleanor and George with their son James, were among America's foremost confectioners. They were instrumental in establishing the fame of Philadelphia ice creams which they prepared and sold in their shop on Chestnut Street. Few 19th century American cookery books which included iced desserts would fail to have one or more recipes for "Philadelphia Ice Cream."
The Parkinson half of this volume displays the sophistication and range of the confectioner's art. It includes techniques and recipes for Sugar Work, Fruit Syrups, Jellies, Pastes and Preserves; Candies, Chocolate, and of course Ice Creams and Ices. And what a range of flavors for the latter! About fifty recipes including Ginger, Burnt Filbert, Tea, Gooseberry, Pear, Chestnut, Pine Apple, Pistachio and Marischino.
In separate sections there are preparations of pastry (fancy biscuits and cakes) and breads (three dozen varieties). A perusal of the Table of Contents will explain why this is a masterpiece of the confectioner's art.
James Sanderson was at one time Chef at the Franklin House in Philadelphia. His half of this combined volume has over 700 recipes for the preparation of meat, poultry, vegetables, salads and wines. His recipe for Jerked Beef explains that this method is used in the West Indies "because they can scarcely cure meat in the ordinary way on account of the excessive heat." You will find here many American recipes, such as the American Mode of Cooking Indian Corn, Pumpkins, &c., Boiled Maize Pudding, American Mode of Dressing Salt Fish and others.
This reference to an American way of cooking should not surprise, if one will read the introductions to each of these volumes. Each clearly indicates that the greatest portion of the books issued under their names are in fact copied, completely or heavily, from well known English works. Parkinson, for example, tells us that "the basis of our little work is to be found in Read's Confectioner, a late London publication." Sanderson tells us that he is not the author but rather the adopter and adaptor of an English work. He does not credit the book by name, but we now know that it is a work credited to W.G. Lewis, which was itself corrected and improved by that same Read.
Thus, we cross-reference this combined volume as part of America's English culinary heritage.